Power off

YOUR article “Leadership’s all about power” (WA Business News, State Scene, September 26 2002) is wrong in a number of areas and does nothing to further the debate on electricity reform in WA.

Putting aside the gratuitous and incorrect comments about Western Power’s managing director’s salary*, which has been the subject of previous correspondence to your paper (April 29 2002), I seek to correct erroneous statements regarding the proposed Pechiney aluminium smelter.

Claims that the cost of electricity was the reason why the Pechiney project did not proceed are misleading and do not present an accurate account of events.

It is important to note that the proposal to Pechiney for the supply of competitively priced electricity was based on private ownership of dedicated generating plant for the smelter.

The generating plant would use competitively priced, high efficiency gas turbines, gas from a private gas supplier and gas transported by a privately owned gas pipeline operator.

The key issue that affected the electricity price for the proposal was the delivered price of gas for the gas turbines.

Western Power had no role to play in this process.

Despite comments to the contrary, Western Power has continually asserted its support for electricity reform where the deliverable benefits to Western Australian consumers can be identified.

This is a critical policy issue for WA and the objectives of reform are all too often ignored.

Having informed and acc-urate debate is paramount to ensuring that proper attention is given in achieving the best outcomes for the State. It is a pity that Mr Poprzeczny does not seek to present a balanced argument – it does not serve him well as a commentator.

Peter W Rowe

Manager Corporate Affairs

Western Power

*Editor’s note: Western Power managing director David Eiszele’s salary was between $400,000 and $410,000, according to the 2002 annual report, down from between $570,000 and $580,000 the previous year. The 2001 figure was inflated from the base salary by accrued leave and termination payments from certain positions Mr Eiszele held.

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